Sage 200 becomes Scientifica's catalyst for expansion with Pinnacle's support

Sage 200 becomes Scientifica's catalyst for expansion with Pinnacle's support

Customer Profile

Scientifica specialises in providing cutting-edge equipment for the neuroscience market. The company’s world-class laboratory equipment allows researchers to gain a better understanding of the nervous system and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and epilepsy. Headquartered in Uckfield, East Sussex, and manufacturing in Maidenhead, Berkshire, Scientifica is a British success story, providing high-quality instruments to universities, pharmaceutical companies and research laboratories in more than forty countries worldwide. The company has over 70 employees, with turnover in excess of £12 million.

Sector: Business Services

Business Need: Accounting

Location: East Sussex, United Kingdom

Employees: 70 Employees

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Putting Sage 200 under the microscope

The company’s Sage 200 system supports the business extensively, from finance to commercials, to R&D to manufacturing and more. Leah Hunt, Network & Infrastructure Lead at Scientifica, says, “The importance of Sage 200 to our business cannot be overemphasized. It’s the be all and end all – the hub of our business. Every single business function touches it in some way.”

Scientifica wanted to move to the latest version of Sage 200 to take advantage of the latest technology and features and took the opportunity to look for a Sage support partner who could manage a major upgrade and offer positive, responsive support. All the company’s master production schedule (MPS) and material requirements planning (MRP) are performed on Sage, requiring specialist experience to handle the upgrade.

Scientifica needed a provider who, in addition to this specialism, could provide proactive advice and guidance on ways to maximise the investment in Sage 200 as a whole, while also providing excellent day-to-day technical support.

As part of the process of selecting a Sage partner, Pinnacle and the incumbent provider demonstrated the latest version of Sage 200. According to Leah, “It was obvious from the demo that Pinnacle knew the software inside out. Their knowledge of the system could not be faulted. In fact, they had shone from our first contact with them.”

With Pinnacle the partner of choice, the system upgrade project began. It was code-named ‘Molten’, because it was core to everything the company does. It’s a measure of just how critical Sage 200 is to the business.

Scientifica regarded upgrading to a new version as a chance to review its use of the system overall. Leah says, “Moving to a new version of the software was a big step for us, but it created the perfect opportunity to do a close analysis of how we need the system to support the business today and tomorrow. With Pinnacle’s help we’ve made wide-ranging improvements to how we run Sage 200. They enabled us to understand the impact of any single change on other areas of the system.”

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The learning curve

It’s perhaps not surprising given the sector in which the company operates that the Scientifica team was keen to learn as much as possible about the new version of the software. The steering committee for the upgrade project undertook a whole week of train-the-trainer consultancy from Pinnacle before the go-live. “It was a heavy week of learning,” recalls Leah.

This newfound knowledge has now been cascaded in the form of retraining every member of staff on using Sage 200. Leah is so keen that every user should be competent and confident in using the system that they must be personally signed off before they’re allowed to touch it.

With the upgrade successfully completed, Pinnacle began to provide technical support, over the telephone and remotely. Right from the early days, during the changeover from the previous Sage partner to Pinnacle, Leah was impressed by the speed of response and Pinnacle quickly became the first port of call for any queries.

She says, “Pinnacle’s call-logging system and triage of calls deliver much better support than anything I’d ever experienced. We have a guaranteed half-an-hour response time. In reality, it has always been more like ten minutes. They’re poised to help.”

"The move to the new version of Sage 200 was a fantastic step forwards for us. We now have a stable system to power our business, and that’s great news."

Leah Hunt , Network & Infrastructure Lead

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Looking under the hood

The drive to improve how the system is used within the business continues. “We’re quite inquisitive,” says Leah. “We like to know what we can do better. This means we often send tricky, convoluted questions to Pinnacle, and yet they always come back with a helpful, meaningful answer.” Leah also values the written updates she receives from Pinnacle to keep her posted on the latest Sage developments.

According to Leah, Pinnacle has turned around Sage’s reputation within the user community: “Before Pinnacle took over as our support provider, the system wasn’t always as reliable as it could be. Pinnacle addressed issues that we thought we had to accept as a fact of life. Now, our users see what Sage can do to dependably support them in their work.”

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A bright future

Scientifica goes from strength to strength. Having opened an office in the United States, its first outside of the UK, to support the growing number of customers in North America, the company is now considering an entry into the Chinese market.

It may well be that in the long term Scientifica will look to bring all its entities across the globe into a single multi-currency, multi-site Sage enterprise resource planning system. But that decision lies in the future.

For the present, Leah says, “The move to the new version of Sage 200 was a fantastic step forwards for us. We now have a stable system to power our business, and that’s great news. Pinnacle has moved us along so much further than we could ever have envisaged.”

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